Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It is a great pleasure and joy to wish you a blessed Christmas.
As we prepare to welcome and worship a baby who is God’s only begotten Son, our concerns turn to those gathered into the body of Christ today. The body that came from the Virgin Mary’s womb is the same body that rose from the grave after Jesus was crucified for our salvation. The risen Christ, freed from death and every earthly constraint, shape each generation of disciples into his body, the Church.
The Church, with all her troubles today, remains the presence of Christ in a troubled world. This Christmas let us pray for peace as we welcome the Prince of Peace. Let us pray for the safety of our streets and neighborhoods, as we watch the shepherds come to Bethlehem. Let us pray for Bethlehem today, as war continues to plague the Holy Land. Let us pray for the world, that it may recognize its Savior in his body, the Church. Let us pray for one another, that the Lord may give us peace and joy together. May God, who has blessed the world in sending his Son, bless each of us gathered in Jesus’ name this Christmas; may he grace the world he loves with the gift of peace.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.
Archbishop of Chicago